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WASHINGTON — New Japanese government data revealed that for the first time crime was higher among the country’s elderly than its teenagers.

According to the Kyodo News Agency, police authorities reported on Thursday that ‘‘the number of people aged 65 or older subject to police action reached 23,656 between January and June, compared with 19,670 for those aged 14-19.’’ It’s the first time the elderly have exceeded the young in crime data since 1989, when Japan started keeping tabs of crimes by age group.

It’s a sign of ‘‘Japan’s graying society’’ as well as economic conditions, Kyodo reported.

There is much focus on Japan’s aging, shrinking population and its potential effects.


Parallel to this trend has been the rise in Japan’s elderly crime rate, which doubled between 2003 and 2013, according to Bloomberg News.

Some 70 percent of crimes by the elderly, a government report in 2012 found, were acts of shoplifting by impoverished pensioners.

Washington Post